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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 08:44 AM

Pro-choice supporters hold biggest-ever protest against Polish government

Source: The Guardian

Pro-choice supporters hold biggest-ever protest against Polish government

About 100,000 people take to the streets of Warsaw to oppose tightened abortion law

Christian Davies in Warsaw
Fri 30 Oct 2020 22.15 GMT

About one hundred thousand protesters took to the streets of the Polish capital, Warsaw, on Friday, in the largest demonstration of popular anger directed against Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) since it assumed office in 2015.

Protests have been held across the country since Poland’s constitutional tribunal declared earlier this month that abortions in instances where a foetus is diagnosed with a serious and irreversible birth defect were unconstitutional. Such procedures constitute about 96% of legal abortions in Poland, which already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

On Wednesday, pro-choice activists called a “women’s strike” that attracted over 400,000 people to protests in over 400 towns and cities across the central European nation.

Just hours before Friday’s protest, Andrzej Duda, Poland’s right-wing president, announced what he described as a “legislative solution” to the political crisis, proposing that terminations in instances where birth defects are terminal would be allowed. Terminations of foetuses with conditions such as Down’s syndrome would be banned, however.

Strongly criticised by Poland’s medical and legal establishments, Duda’s intervention did little to quell the anger that has left the government and its de facto leader, PiS founder Jarosław Kaczyński, reeling.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/30/pro-choice-supporters-hold-biggest-ever-protest-against-polish-government

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